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The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

With the government aim of making all new heavy goods vehicles in the UK zero-emission by 2040, in addition to the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, the UK is well on its way to becoming net-zero carbon by 2050. However, particular areas in England struggle with air pollution caused by petrol and diesel cars, most notably London. ULEZ, or the Ultra Low Emission Zone, was created to tackle this growing issue.

But what is ULEZ? How much is the daily fee? Which areas does it cover? 

Don’t worry! To understand the ins and outs of the ULEZ, keep reading this blog. We will be taking you through fees, eligible cars, and the discounts available. 

What is the ULEZ?

Introduced by London mayor Sadiq Khan in 2019, ULEZ, or Ultra Low Emission Zone, is an area, where when entered, if you don’t meet minimum emissions standards when travelling through, you will have to pay the daily charge. The zone improves the air quality for Londoners and encourages the transition to zero-emission vehicles. The charges only need to be paid if you drive your vehicle within the zone and do not meet the standards.

How much is the ULEZ?

For cars, motorcycles, vans and specialist vehicles (up to 3.5 tonnes) you will have to pay a daily fee of £12.50 each time you enter the ULEZ.

Fully electric vehicles do not have to pay the fee when entering the ULEZ zone.

When does the ULEZ run?

ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and every day, except for Christmas Day. Charging runs from midnight to midnight.

How do I pay the ULEZ charge?

You can pay online on the Transport for London website or download the Transport for London Pay to Drive app. With this app, you can set up Auto Pay, where Transport for London will automatically bill you every time you enter the ULEZ if your vehicle doesn’t meet the standards. There is a £10 registration charge for every vehicle you add to Auto Pay each year.

Which areas are included?

The ULEZ area expanded on 25th October 2021 to include the area inside the North Circular and South Circular Roads, such as:

Barnet, Brent, Camden, City of Westminster, Ealing, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kensington, Chelsea, Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Enfield, Haringey, Islington, Hounslow, Richmond, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark.

Before this change, the ULEZ focused solely on the centre of London.

To view a map of the ULEZ area, please click here.

How will I know when I enter the ULEZ?

There are various signs beforehand (such as on major roads) and on approach to the ULEZ boundary (directional signs which show routes that take you into the ULEZ and those that don’t). There are also signs distinctly telling you when you enter the ULEZ and signs reminding you that cameras are operating. These signs will most likely be green or blue, such as the below image.

Which cars fit the minimum emission standards?

To check if your vehicle meets the relevant emission and safety standards, please click here. You will be able to enter your number plate on the Transport for London website, where they will be able to give you a definitive answer as to whether or not your vehicle qualifies.

Typically, petrol cars registered after 2005 will meet the ULEZ standards and therefore won’t have to pay the £12.50 fee. On the other hand, diesel cars will most likely be exempt from the fee if they were built after September 2015.

All fully electric vehicles meet the emission standards and therefore do not have to pay the fee.

What are the current emissions standards?

  • Euro 3 (NOx) for motorcycles and similar vehicles (mopeds etc.)
  • Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans
  • Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and other specialist vehicles

Can I apply for a discount?

Historic vehicles (at least 40 years old), London-licensed taxis and minibuses used for community transport (i.e. if you are a charity or school) are eligible for discounts on the ULEZ. For more information on how to apply, click here.

Is the ULEZ the same as the Congestion Charge? 

No, the ULEZ is separate from the Congestion Charge in London, which means that if your vehicle does not meet the requirements set, you will have to pay both the ULEZ fee and the £15 Congestion Charge fee (previously £11.50, but raised last year in 2021). The Congestion Charge runs from 7 am until 10 pm, every day except Christmas Day. If you have a fully electric vehicle, you will not have to pay the ULEZ fee or the Congestion Charge.

The ULEZ is also different to Clean Air Zones.

What happens if I do not pay the fee? 

If you fail to pay this fee, there will be a penalty charge of £160 for the vehicle’s registered keeper; however, this can be reduced to £80 if you pay within 14 days. Whilst there are no barriers or toll booths, there are currently approximately 700 cameras operating in the area that will check your license plate, so it’s not worth taking the risk of not paying.

Are there any other options for travel?

If you do not want to drive through the UZEV zone, you can walk, cycle, or use public transport. You will not have to pay the £12.50 fee by choosing alternative travel.

Or, you can go electric! As they emit no CO2, fully electric vehicles can enter the Ultra Low Emission Zone without having to pay the fee.

Where does the money go from the ULEZ?

The money raised from the ULEZ fee feeds back into improving London’s transport infrastructure.

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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.

Spread over a 60 month period.

Also available over 24, 36 and 48 month periods.

We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 12.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.

Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.

Underground cable

We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.

Overhead cable

We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.

Standard Installation
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.